Watching this in the cinema is an experience because whilst today there were a few laughs for a crowd of viewers in 2018 I completely understand why this would have scared the shit out of people in 1973. It's played out and paced so well, Regan is treated for every medical symptom and even the idea of possession sounds as absurd even to the priest and that's what makes it believable and a great horror element.
El verdadero horror de la película no deviene del vomito verde, de la cama que se mueve o de Regan levitando, sino más de ese retrato de un mundo en ruinas al que Friedkin señala como terrorífico. Un mundo en el que todo fenómeno que se salga de lo normal no puede ser contenido y es puesto en clínicas o sometido a las vejaciones de la ciencia. Un mundo que ha perdido su fe. Un mundo en el que nadie te escucha gritar.
Often called as "The Scariest Movie of All Time" by some people. Maybe they get scared to death with the Devil in this movie. Somehow, instead of being scared with the Devil, I was scared because I was thinking - what if I'm in the same position as Father Karras who began to lose his faith. THE EXORCIST is a great horror movie. Because I could feel sympathy to its characters. I think the cinematography is quite good.
90% of the film I wasn't sure if they were all just collectively hallucinating (there are bits in the film that could serve as an argument for the whole thing not being real), or if it was really about the devil. But when Merrin says "there is only one" I realized it doesn't matter. Either way, it's about faith and the lack of it. It's so subtle and complex I can't believe it's regarded as a mere horror film.
Horror drama rich on detail and with a fascinating script about demon possession, but for all it's memorable imagery its most disturbing sequence is during a "normal hospital visit". A film that is more powerful if one is a believer of demons and a devote Catholic Christian. The director's cut weakened the film in my eyes so try watching the theatrical one.
Well crafted, but curiously hollow and unmoving. Despite terrific performances, and a distinguished veneer (it's not a great film, but it does a decent impression) Friedkin's lack of belief is felt - what should feel like a battle between Good and Evil comes off as serving the world's most difficult eviction notice to a particularly unruly tenant. A frustrating miss, whatever its reputation.
Something of a Typhoid Mary for the modern horror film which as a pioneer of its kind opened the door to grosser and grosser derivative spectacles which generally lacked the visual panache, character development and quasi-religious & scientific undercurrents, if not convincing sub-plots, found here. In itself a superb slow-boil before hell does indeed break loose and let's it all hang out in the second half.
Stylistically barren (though Friedken was likely aiming for a realistic approach) and overly reliant on moments of nasty violence involving a child. It's more violent than the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which says quite a lot. The big issue I have is that it just doesn't rank among other horror classics, because its terrors are limited access--frightening only to Catholics and the superstitious.
It ain't Hitchcock, but then again, what is? ;-) Seriously though, the effect this film has on you depends on (a) your age when you first saw it, and (b) whether you believe in the possibility of possession. I saw this film in my early teen years, and while not brought up in a religious family, I did think at that age that possession was possible. Hence it freaked me the f*** out. "Dimmy... Dimmy..." *shivers*